We built an app that harnesses census data to make architectural renderings representative.

Colorful crowd

Architects include human figures in their renderings to provide a sense of scale and to make the space feel alive. Scale figures are not the point of a rendering and yet, without them, the architecture you put so much time into conceptualizing will look like a ghost town. Filling images with people is a requisite step in the process, but fraught with potential challenges.

It takes forever to find the right people. It’s a pain to cut them out. It takes vigilance to make sure the figures match the demographics of the community in which your rendering is situated. It takes time to build a crowd that makes the image feel active. The results can be disappointing, empty, or simplistic.

At worst, this process is tedious and time consuming. At best, and with the help of cutout libraries, this ‘necessary evil’ process can be expedient. Imagining the life of your building should not be rote cut and paste of scale figures, it should be a celebration that you’ve advanced your project and are making renderings that show your ideas in their best light.

People Party! is designed to address these pain points for architects. It’s an app to populate architectural renderings by automating time-consuming and dull aspects of the process so you can focus on being creative.

1. Generative Populations. Renderings should reflect the true diversity of cities. If you’re making a rendering of Chicago, the people in your image should look like Chicago. PP! uses Census data to calculate the demographics and makes sure that the demographics of people in the scene are always representative as you grow and shrink their number.

Growing a party
Demographics panel

2. Semantic Palettes

You should not have to make individual decisions about the color of every shirt, shoes, and trousers in the image. That’s a sure way to reach cognitive overload. In People Party! you use color palettes that have semantic awareness. That means you define a set of colors that can be applied to shirts, for instance, and PP! does the work to choose a different one of those colors at random for every person in the scene. With just a few color selections you can generate zillions of combinations.

Randomized palette
Blue palette

3. Randomization Encouraged

Hit spacebar and let PP! randomize all of the colors in the scene. Hit ‘p’ and PP! will randomize all of the people in the scene. As you cycle through randomizations, PP! keeps the demographics constant. By automating the hard stuff, we make it easy for you to be creative and exploratory until your image has just the right vibe.

Randomize poses easily